The Drewry benchmark rate for shipping from Hong Kong to Los Angeles rose this week after three weeks in a row with no positive movement.
The Hong Kong-to-Los Angeles rate climbed 7.0 percent or $129 per 40-foot container in the week of April 16, reaching $1,964 per FEU. The increase, which was the biggest gain since mid-January, comes as a result of the rate hike planned by the members of the Transpacific Stabilization Agreement for April 15. The rise fell short of the proposed increase, achieving 42.9 percent of the proposed $300-per-FEU rate hike.
In the week of April 11, the spot rate to the U.S. West Coast as indexed by the Shanghai Containerized Freight Index was $1,872 per FEU, climbing 3.5 percent or $64 per 40-foot container from the previous week, following three consecutive weeks of decline.
Drewry expects pricing to remain firm in the next two weeks leading up to several carriers’ planned May 1 general rate increases of $300 to $400 per 40-foot container, if backed by strong load factors. Carriers including Maersk Line, Hapag-Lloyd and U.S. Lines announced that they would adopt this increase.
Freight volatility is expected to remain a driving force in the container shipping industry in 2014, according to SeaIntel.